Hawaii Has Ordered a 14 Day Quarantine for All Arrivals from out of state starting this Thursday, March 26, 2020 in an effort to reduce coronavirus infections in the state. As of time of writing, Hawaii has 77 coronavirus cases, with 4 of them hospitalized, although no deaths have occurred to date. At least one of Hawaii's coronavirus cases has no known travel or contact with travelers, indicating community spread.
Hawaii Governor David Ige, in announcing the quarantine order, noted “with the majority of Hawaii's COVID-19 cases linked to travel, it is critical that we further mitigate the spread of the virus by both residents and visitors who are coming from out-of-state.” This also echoes what other resort destinations fear, with infected visitors carrying coronavirus with them to the resort area and/or from the resort back home, such as Mexican visitors to Vail seeding coronavirus upon returning to Jalisco, Mexico, and Icelanders bringing coronavirus back with them from Colorado.
Hawaii Visitors Must Stay in Their Hotel Room or Rented Lodging
While Hawaii residents who are returning from out of state must self-quarantine in their residence, visitors must quarantine in their hotel room or rented lodging, proceeding directly there from the airport.
According to the order, the only allowable reason for leaving one's quarantine location is for medical emergencies or to seek medical care; no visits to public spaces (including the pool, beach, meeting rooms, restaurants, fitness centers, etc.) are allowed, and no visitors other than a physician, healthcare provider, or individual authorized to enter the quarantine location by the Director of HIEMA (Hawaii Emergency Management Agency) are permitted.
Hawaiian Airlines Flights Reduced to Once Daily LAX-HNL Starting Thursday
To help Hawaii residents get home, Hawaiian Airlines will operate a normal schedule through Wednesday March 25, 2020. Starting Thursday, Hawaiian will reduce its out of state flight schedule to just one daily flight between LAX and HNL, and one weekly flight between American Samoa and Honolulu. As with other U.S. airlines, Hawaiian isn't providing refunds for cancelled flights, just travel vouchers valid for future travel up to one yeaar from the ticket purchase date.
Honolulu Shelter in Place Order
In addition to the statewide 14 day quarantine order for out of state arrivals, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has issued a Shelter in Place order starting Monday March 23 4:30pm through at least April 30, 2020. Maui and Kauai are issuing similar orders. Everyone except essential workers (these include healthcare operations and essential infrastructure, food retail, food cultivation, delivery/take-out food services, media services, gas stations, auto repair and related, hardware stores, banks/financial institutions, airlines, taxis, and several others) must stay home.
Will Hawaii's 14 day quarantine and shelter in place requirements affect your Hawaii travel plans?
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I was scheduled to go there soon for 2 weeks but had already canceled – just as well, the quarantine would’ve kept me indoors the whole time. The quarantine from my Switzerland trip would just be ending as well. I’ve seen pictures on Twitter and Waikiki looks like a ghost town. (Do you keep up at all with your Twitter feed, Hilary?) Also, I understand United is charging a fee for redepositing miles now.
Yes, just as well to have cancelled; there will be better times in the future to visit Hawaii. I do think that if anything, more places in the U.S. should follow Hawaii’s example and ideally simultaneously ramp up testing capacity, so as to have both better data about the status of community transmission and prevent reinfection of the population from inbound arrivals, whether visitors or returning residents. The coronavirus is simply too serious for too many people (and not just the elderly and immunocompromised) to be lackadaisical with testing, social distancing and quarantine measures during this time, when we have… Read more »